A Brief History of Kabarda (Eastern Circassia), by Amjad Jaimoukha

A Brief History of Kabarda

(Eastern Circassia) 

[from the Middle Ages]

Armenian sources of the seventh century AD mentioned that the people ‘Kash’ (the Kassogs, or early mediæval Kabardians) lived ‘between the Bulgars and the Pontus’, i.e. in the area between that of Kubrat Bulgaria (north of the Kuban River and Sea of Azov) and the Black Sea. The Kassog dominion also comprised the lands between the Don and Kuban. The Kassogs were close (westerly) neighbours of the Alans. These sources indicate that the differentiation of the Circassians (Adyghe) into Kassogs and Zikhis had been completed by the seventh century AD.  

The Kabardians had developed a runic alphabet of the Murfatlar type (found in Bulgaria and Romania) in the sixth-seventh centuries AD.[1] Most probably this intellectual development was an adjunct to the spread of Christianity in Kassogia (Kabarda), where there was need to spread the good word, so to speak.   

According to The Book of Administration of the Empire (De Administrando Imperio; Πρὸς τὸν ἴδιον υἱὸν Ρωμανόν [To My Own Son Romanus]), written in the tenth century in Greek by Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (905-959), the Circassian nations of Kasakhs (modern-day Kabardians; also Kassogs) and Papaghis lived in the hinterland of Circassia. The Zikhis (Western Adiga) and Abkhazians occupied the eastern Black Sea littoral.


[1] For details on the Kassogian runic system of writing, refer to P. Dobrev (1995). 

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Legendary wrestling duel between the Kassog (Kabardian) Prince Reidade
and the Russian Prince Mstislav of Tmutarakan in 1022 AD.
[W. Jirandoqwe et al, 1951, the page after p64]

Full weapon set of Kabardian warrior in the 19th century
(sword with sword-belt, dagger, pistol, cartridge cases). [The Russian Museum of Ethnography]